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Belgium gives 100m² of land back to Netherlands
Belgium is 100m² smaller than it was last week. When paving work in the street marking the border with the Netherlands began in Essen, Antwerp province, last week, the commission dealing with the maintenance of the border markers found that the border post turned out to be about a metre too far into the territory of the Netherlands.
There had originally been a stream where the historical border should have been. "Of course at the time, it was not possible to put a marker in this stream", explained Essen mayor Gaston Van Tichelt to the VRT.
"But now that the stream has gone, we had to do something. So this is how up to 100m² of Belgium has now passed into Dutch territory."
According to the mayor, moving the border will have no consequences for the inhabitants, and no Belgians will end up living in the Netherlands. However, a few square metres of the CPAS building in Essen are now located in the Netherlands.
The changes have been paid for by the neighbouring Dutch town of Roosendaal, which also found that Essen had grown beyond its border.
A spokesperson from Essen said: "The border has always been correct on paper but it was only the streetscape that was wrong. Now the border is where it should be."